WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) have introduced the Trump Transparency Package, a series of bills aimed at promoting transparency and eliminating conflicts of interest in the White House.
The president’s complex web of international business interests and hostility toward the press present an ongoing threat to public integrity and our democratic institutions. While past presidents acted to eliminate potential conflicts of interest, President Trump has refused to take steps to address these issues in any meaningful way.
The four bills would: safeguard our government from foreign influence; call for freedom of the press and media access to the president; require disclosure of the president’s foreign business transactions; and separate the president’s personal financial interests from the duties of the presidency. Further details on the bills are available below.
“President Trump is unable to maintain the integrity and transparency of his office on his own accord, and it is our responsibility as members of Congress to hold him accountable,” said Rep. Jayapal. “The American people deserve the whole truth regarding Trump’s business ties, his potential communications with Russia and the ways in which he is profiting off his position. It is absurd that we can’t trust our own president and instead have to constantly wonder what favors he owes to Russia. The Trump Transparency Package will force this president to come clean and abide by the standards of our democracy.”
“If the President were showing undivided zealous loyalty to the American people, following precedent and observing basic common sense, none of these bills would be necessary,” said Rep. Raskin. “But all of the radical departures we have seen from prior practice and common sense compel us to act.”
The Trump Transparency Package
The Safeguarding Government from Foreign Corruption Act (Jayapal): Existing law prohibits government officials from accepting anything of value – including gifts in recognition or anticipation of an official act. This bill would simply extend that prohibition to such actions taken outside of the United States. By extending coverage extraterritorially, this bill will reach attempts by foreign governments and actors who might otherwise escape the reach of U.S. law.
Separation of Government and President’s Financial Interests Act (Jayapal): This bill amends 18 U.S.C. 208 to prohibit executive branch employees from participating personally and substantially in a particular government matter that will impact the financial interests of the president.
Calling for a Presidential Protective Press Pool (Raskin): Since the days of President Eisenhower, the presidential protective press pool has provided crucial early reports of major historical events, including the 9/11 attacks, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the attempted assassination of President Reagan. This resolution expresses the sense of Congress that a protective press pool should be established no later than 30 days after the president assumes office. Further, the press pool should be given access to the president, presidential meetings, and presidential travel (including movements, official meetings, and other interactions) to inform the American people about issues of public concern and preserve independent reporting in times of crisis.
The Presidential Disclosure of Foreign Transactions Act (Raskin): This bill requires the president to publicly disclose business transactions with foreign governments (including state-owned corporations) exceeding $10,000. The president would have up to 90 days after the inauguration to submit a report of business transactions made during the preceding 10 years. The bill also requires monthly reporting of all business transactions exceeding $10,000 with foreign governments conducted by businesses owned by the president or the president’s family.
Issues: Government Reform & Ethics